Department arming patrolmen with less lethal weapons

Department arming patrolmen with less lethal weapons

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Craighead County Sheriff’s Department is training with another tool to keep the community and their officers safe.

They're called bean bag guns, and they're a less lethal option for deputies out patrolling the streets.

It looks like a normal shotgun, but the rounds are actually small bean bags.

It’s a gun that is already being used by SWAT but the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office is now arming deputies with the device.

Training officer Randy Sharp said it's another way to create distance and diffuse a situation in a less lethal manner.

"When we go hands on with people, the risk of injury to the officer and to the suspect or to the violator rise tremendously," Sharp said. "When we are allowed to use less lethal tools, the injury to the officer goes down and the injuries, other than sustained from the less lethal device, go down tremendously."

Training on the device is similar to other weapons deputies have as far as loading, unloading and aiming.

Sharp said the biggest difference is learning the correct distance to make the tool effective.

There are five bean bag guns active right now and Sharp said they plan to add more later in the year.

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